National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kwaku Rickets-Hagan, has announced his intention to contest the party’s flagbearership slot ahead of the elections in 2020.
Speaking to Citi News‘ Duke Mensah Opoku today [Wednesday] in Parliament, Ricketts Hagan said a lot of thought had gone into his decision to contest.
[contextly_sidebar id=”LYE0bAINBSsDLLWHQBI8oX4AOS1JCf8X”]”It’s not a decision that is taken lightly to run as the flagbearer of your party, and possibly becoming the Head of State of the country. It’s not a decision that I took yesterday or last week,” he said.
The former Central Regional Minister added that, despite the fact that a number of persons have already announced their intention to contest for the position, he had taken a number of things into consideration before making a decision.
According to him, he first considered contesting the position after the incumbent NDC government at the time suffered a major loss in both the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2016.
He however stated that he would not pull out of any race should another candidate throw their hat into the race, as some other aspirants have suggested.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking of for about a year since we lost the elections. I had to do a serious introspection of why we lost the elections and of myself. Others announced their decision to contest almost a year ago, and have basically been campaigning. For me, if I take decisions, they are taken seriously.
“When I take a decision, I’m prepared to see it through to the end. It’s not about who is coming and who is not [contesting]. Next year, we’re going to have our elections, and if you are going to be a serious candidate, you should be ready by the beginning of the year. I had to reach a decision before the end of the year, so I will be in serious contention.”
Among the high profile names to have already indicated that they would contest when the party opens nominations in 2018, are the second deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Bagbin, former Rector of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi and former MP the La Dadekotopon Constituency, Nii Amasah Namoale.
Other people who have hinted that they will contest include former NHIS boss Sylvester Mensah. Former President John Dramani Mahama, who appears to be interested in the race, is however not forthcoming with clarity on the way forward for him.
Suggestions have been made that with such strong names contesting, it would be unwise to expect Ricketts-Hagan, who once served as a Deputy Finance Minister under Mahama, to offer any formidable challenge.
However, the legislator believes that past deeds will not necessarily guarantee success in the polls, with Ghanaians preferring candidates who can improve their current situations.
“Normally in contests like this, people look at heavyweights. Ghanaians are looking at the future, and what we can do for them. If I am a candidate, what am I doing to restructure my party for the future. What am I going to do for my country as a president in areas of education, health jobs and housing? These are what the people care about, not necessarily the past. We’re not going to run elections based on anyone’s record, it’s going to be based on the future” he noted.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana